CSI paid homage to film noir this week on "A Kiss Before Frying," and actually made it work.
The slow ease from a standard looking episode into the noir was a risky move that paid off. If it had been anyone else but Greg, I think the story's intent would have been lost. However, the audience being familiar with Greg's interest in Las Vegas' past made the different elements of the story feel natural and believable.
Dita Von Tesse also shined Ellen Whitebridge, aka Rita Von Squeeze, and I'm not just saying that because I got to see her sitting in a giant martini glass, either. I was almost convinced her character might just be a simple love interest for Greg, instead of a crazy woman attempting to avenge the past and lost in her own delusions.I jumped at the beginning of the episode when the burn victim sprang to life after David sliced into him. I don't jump often, and I always have to applaud a show when it happens. It's good to know that CSI still has the ability to draw an audience in for a little scare.
Greg has been due for a little romance. I do hope that since he got the crazy out of the way, the writers can manage a less insane love interest for him in future episodes. He represents the cool but geeky bits in all of us and definitely deserves a good romantic turn.The end of the episode reminded me of some of the great Humphrey Bogart movies I love. Catherine sort of became Louis from Casablanca, and Greg was equal parts Sam Spade and Rick Blaine.
I was proud that Catherine took it easy on Greg for his mistake because she had made similar ones in the past. It's nice when a character is consistent, and it will further the bond between these two.
Things are looking up again for CSI, but I won't start celebrating a return to excellence until a few more episodes go by. New installments return in February.